Touching the big toe of the bronze statue of Grgur Ninski, the Bishop and great advocate of the old Slavonic language and national script, tradition has it that good luck is guaranteed. One interesting encounter, undoubtedly, has just happened-meeting this interesting personality of Nin and Croatia, and at the same time with a very important period of Croatian history.
The Bishop Grgur Ninski, the main advocate of the Old Slavonic language and the national glagolitic script and the church service in glagolitic, had his seat in Nin from 900-929. In 925, when Tomislav was proclaimed King, the Bishop Grgur Ninski-the symbol of national pride-had a leading supreme church power in the State. He was the head of Nin Church which at that time meant being the head of the whole Croatian Church.
However, the course of history changes, at the Great Church Assemblies which were held in 925 and 928, the Archbishop of Split required the control of Dalmatian dioceses as well as over the whole of Croatia. Dalmatian towns at that time were under the rule of Byzantine. At the Second Great Church Assembly (928) the Church authority over the whole of Croatia and Dalmatia was recognised and given to the Archbishop of Split and the diocese of Nin was abandoned, and Bishop Grgur was transferred to the Skradin diocese.
In addition-the Great Church Assemblies banned the ordination to the priesthood of all those who used the old Slavonic language in the celebration of the Mass, Latin became the liturgical language. As very few priests knew Latin, the western celebration of the Mass in old Slavonic language having Croatian characteristics, despite the bans was nevertheless preserved. Along with this, the Croatian national glagolitic script was also preserved so that both became part of our national culture. That old cultural language was then both, the Church service and literary language. In the Middle Ages it was replaced by the live Croatian language in literature, and today, also in Church services. Grgur Ninski became the symbol of pride among ordinary people.
The bronze statue of the Bishop Grgur Ninski-the work of the Croatian sculptor, of world fame, Ivan Meštrović-can be found in Nin next to the Church of St Ansel. Ivan Meštrović gave the statues of Grgur Ninski to the Croatian towns of Varaždin and Split. There is a belief connected with the bronze statue of the famous Bishop Grgur, a real symbol of pride in ordinary people, which says that touching the big toe will fulfill one's wishes. Therefore, it is not surprising that around the statue of Grgur Ninski, especially in the summer, there are many people and thus many fulfilled wishes.
Church of st. Nicholas
Did you know that a widely known symbol of Nin is the Romanesque church of St. Nicholas from 11th/12th century, built on a hummock and also used as the coronation church? National folk legend has it that in Nin seven kings were crowned, and during the coronation, accompanied by a magnificent escort, the crowned ruler would ride to the Church of St. Nicholas where he was presented to the people. From that hummock, as a sign of his royal power, he would strike a sword to all four cardinal points.